Skip to comments.Germany's Offshore Fiasco--North Sea Wind Offensive Plagued by Problems
Posted on 09/04/2012 4:20:00 AM PDT by DeaconBenjamin
Germany wants to pepper its northern seas with offshore wind turbines as part of its ambitious energy revolution. But strict laws, technology problems and multiple delays are turning the massive enterprise into an expensive fiasco. Investors and the public are losing patience.
In his 1957 work "Book of Imaginary Beings," Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges describes Zaratan, an ocean turtle that was so large that she served as an artificial island. Forests grew on her shell.
The managers of the British offshore firm Seajacks have named their latest creation after the mythical being. Their Zaratan looks like a giant barge. It has a huge crane and four hydraulic legs, each of them 85 meters (280 feet) long. The legs allow it to lift itself out of the water like an insect.
The vehicle is an "installation vessel," a tool of the offshore wind-power industry that installs offshore wind turbines that that are sometimes taller than 150 meters.
On a recent Saturday, the ship was waiting at the wharf in the northern German port town of Cuxhaven to take four "monopiles," each weighing 750 metric tons (1.64 million pounds), on board. Monopiles are 70-meter steel masts that serve as foundations for the offshore wind turbines.
The vessel, operated by the firm WindMW, was set to drive the first of these monumental poles 40 meters into the seabed at a site 23 kilometers (14 miles) north of the North Sea island of Helgoland, heralding the beginning of a sea change in German power generation.
Since harbor porpoises are sensitive to noise while raising their young in the summer, all of this has to happen in the fall and winter, under overcast skies and in heavy seas.
It will also cost a lot of money: at least 1.2 billion ($1.5 billion).
(Excerpt) Read more at spiegel.de ...
Nice engineering, but crippling malinvestment.
Dirt worshipers are committing economic suicide in Germany too. These cultists live in a fantasy world.
Pray for America
Uh...do the Germans not know that windmills don’t produce electricity in cold weather? Texas learned that in Jan. and Feb. 2010. We wound up paying through the nose for Mexican electricity to keep the heat on.
Not true. There are wind turbine generators north of the Arctic circle and in Antarctica.
Who BTW would promptly cook and serve zaratan if they caught him!
Denmark, the worlds most wind-intensive nation, with more than 6,000 turbines generating 19% of its electricity, has yet to close a single fossil-fuel plant. It requires 50% more coal-generated electricity to cover wind powers unpredictability, and pollution and carbon dioxide emissions have risen (by 36% in 2006 alone).
Do they not produce electricity in general or does the wind not blow in Texas in the winter?
Are you thinking of the rolling blackouts in Jan-Feb 2011? I was don't recall them in 2010 and do not find them listed in the ERCOT archives.
Note that the primary cause of the 2011 outages were due to coal plants having water pipes burst and Natural Gas plants have restricted fuel supply due to high demand. Over 50 power plants were effected at that time.
It is astonishing that much of these systems has not been TESTED!
They compare it to a moon landing. It sounds more like a full blown moon colonization without ever having landed on the moon first.
What ever happened to “proof of concept” or test projects?
Before this is over, Germans will be paying 10 times the price of fossil fuels, with one half the reliability.
Here is the shame of it all: If this ultimately wasted money had been put into basic research of energy storage devices (batteries) & new nuclear technologies, Germany would lead the world in energy tech in a few years.
This will make a very nice view to the Germans.
I'm no friend of wind power but that had nothing to do with the 2010 problems. Some plants had been taken down for routine maintenanace, then we had an unexpected and severe cold spell that caused problems for many of the plants that remained on-line.
“”Since harbor porpoises are sensitive to noise while raising their young in the summer,”” LMAO!!!
And what do they think the humming and vibrations of these monstrosities are going to do to the poor baby porpoises? LMAO!!
What could possibly go wrong?